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Day 3 : More art and controller

In retrospect, one mistake I made was in not drawing up a plan of the topology flow and the rig in advance. While not completely necessary, it generally does help me a lot with solving upcoming issues as early as possible and saves more time during production. Just looking at starting on the cormorant's animation I could see where I'd already made things harder for myself, but at this point am just going to keep pushing forward with it.

Figured it'd help to hold off doing the animation until after I get the controller sorted, considering how much reworking it'd save by knowing exactly what's required in advance. So schedule's been shifted around to mostly focusing on scripting and getting the major functions of the game working (even though it will be a very simple game) before going as heavy into the assetmaking again.

a. environment colliders and the fish

During scripting was still able to get some work done on assets here and there. Jumping back and forward between the scripting work and the asset making today has helped alleviate tiredness. I'm still feeling worn out from the semester, so being able to put one thing aside whenever the ol' head gets too cloudy to think straight and move onto something fresh is working great atm.

Gotten a start on the GUI for both the fish "checklist" and for the healthbar thing that will show how much oxygen the cormorant has during a dive, but if I get time towards the end of the jam I'd like to redo them all when the build is closer to being done.

Modelling the fish was way faster than the cormorant as I skipped out on the sculpt/retopo steps, and they're overall going to be a whole lot simpler in every aspect. UVs and rigs are done on the fish now too, I can implement them into the build now I think and can do up their animations and textures later on in the week.

b. basic player controllers

So for the one-button controls I had wanted to test out something where the player would be always rotating and holding any key down would project them forward, while key up would switch rotation direction to allow for faster zigzagging in the desired general direction.

Initially I had the cormorant spinning around as its idle (and was dreading having to animate an appropriate idle for that, given the time limit) but later today set it up so it just has a UI element spinning to show which direction it will move forward in next which is also a lot clearer to see.

Also tried out making a second controller with two buttons, to rotate left and right (which is also set up to the scroll wheel which feels oddly fun to play around with) with the player is always moving forward just to see if it works better. Unfortunately its really unwieldy to control in such a cramped level space, so am going to see if I can make the first controller work (and if not start thinking of other possible directions to go in for controls - not limited to button count).

c. GUI set up for oxygen level

Thankfully scripting for it didn't take long because it's near identical to one I had to build a couple months ago, so that's done with for now. Of course is going to need playtesting once the fish spawning is in to figure out how long the breath should last. Also am going to need to sort out the spacing between air pockets inside of the caves.

d. more fiddling with variation 1 of the controller

Despite all the doodling around I've done tonight with this version of the controller, I'm thinking I'm probably going to have to scrap it. While it would've been nice to get the idea working with just one button, playtesting it even at different speeds of movement and rotation it doesn't feel like it's going to be anything less than frustrating to play. :D

For the camera, I'm tossing up whether to keep it so it simply follows the player around, or whether to set up one that lerps from position to position whenever the player moves off screen on a "new" screen. Now I'm thinking keeping the following one will work best, as the player is quite large on screen and moves through the space quickly enough (at this stage, still might adjust speeds) that having the camera constantly having to zip from spot to spot and starting and stopping so much could be nauseating for players.

I think I'll wait for another day or so to texture everything since the palettes already getting away and it'd probably be a better idea to do it all in one go for better consistency. For now, the next step once I wake up is to do the controller / fish spawning / fish checklist scripting.